If Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, were to win the Connecticut Senate race to replace a departing Joe Lieberman, it wouldn’t be the first time that an individual, by virtue of their great wealth and connections, would have bought a Senate seat. There is, however, something particularly repugnant about Linda McMahon‘s electoral campaign, apart from the nagging question of why the hell she’s doing it at all.
In 2010, she spent $50 million of the McMahons’ wrestling fortune on trying to beat Richard Blumenthal (D) for a Connecticut Senate seat. In this year’s Republican primaries, McMahon donated $12.4 of her own money to the campaign, outspending Rep. Christopher Shays by ten to one. Shays, it should be noted, has long been a high profile and successful D.C. politician, which makes McMahon’s win all the more astonishing.
Is it money or do people really believe she is better equipped to be a Senator than Shays? The reality is that the $12.4 million was well spent on increasing the frequency of her face on television. Elections are often about awareness for voters not about whether a candidate is actually qualified to be a politician.
McMahon defeated Shays on Tuesday night, but apart from having great wealth and being the CEO for a business that televises oiled-up beefcakes spouting trash and pile-driving each other, what qualifies McMahon for the job? Nothing comes to mind.
The WWE, which practically sells itself to a demographic that has always loved it, is not exactly a job creating enterprise. The corporation’s 2010 annual report states that there are only 585 employees. McMahon can’t point to the WWE and claim her job experience will help in fix the economy and bring jobs to the American people.
Then again, what politician really can?